Lawyer begs Dangote, Otedola to pay ASUU's N1.1trn demand

The lawyer appealed to the two businessmen and other high-net-worth Nigerians to come to the rescue of students who have been out of school for over seven months.

Femi Otedola and Aliko Dangote at Alibaba's January 1st Concert

Why is it important?: The lawyer noted that this has become imperative because of the Federal Government's nonchalant attitude towards the lingering strike by the academic union.

Pulse reports that ASUU has suspended academic activities in government-owned universities since February 14, 2022, following the Federal Government's failure to meet various demands which total N1.1trn.

The appeal: Meanwhile, Olajengbesi is of the opinion that the captains of industries need to step in just as they did during the COVID-19 pandemic when their financial intervention helped the nation's fight against the dreaded disease and its economic implications.

The lawyer's appeal to the high-net-worth individuals is against the backdrop of remarks made by the Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, who argued that the Federal Government can't afford to borrow N1.1 trillion to meet ASUU’s demands.

Her statement: Commenting, Olajengbesi said, “The comment by Governor Dave Umahi of the All Progressives Congress is uncharitable and insensitive to millions of students of public universities who have been at home for seven months now since February 14, 2022 when ASUU embarked on an industrial action this year.

“It is reckless for the governor to say that the present administration cannot borrow N1.1 trillion to defray the Revitalization Fund and the Earned Academic Allowance owed ASUU. Whereas, the APC government has embarked on a borrowing spree since 2015 with Nigeria’s debt to China increasing from $3.26bn as of September 30, 2020, to $3.59bn as of September 30, 2021, showing an increase of $330m in one year. The figure has definitely risen in the last one year.

The APC government must know that education is at the core of any development. Spending loans on phantom White Elephant projects and train is counterproductive without building the mind. Any infrastructural development without human capital development is nonsense.

“Having demonstrated its unwillingness to end ASUU strike despite the billions that Umahi’s APC received in the recent primary elections, good-spirited Nigerians can only appeal to business magnates like Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Abdul Samad Rabiu, Mike Adenuga, as well as bank chiefs to come to the rescue of the common Nigerians whose children have been out of school for seven months this year and nine months in 2020 whilst politicians send their children to schools abroad.

“The philanthropists should please answer the call of the nation for youths to return to classrooms as some of them may be lured into crimes as a result of idleness. One of Nigeria’s greatest resources is its vibrant youth bulge and this population should be harnessed for productivity and not left to rot away.

Nigerian students will certainly be waiting to see whether this appeal moves the mentioned high-net-worth individuals to take an action in their favour.

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